If You Don’t See It, Build It

Work looks different today than it did a decade ago, five years ago — even last year. The way people work has evolved, and yet many individuals and institutions continue to operate the way they always have.

Not Heather Rose-Dunning and Kim Batcheller.

Heather and Kim have been practicing architecture and design together since 2007. In 2015 they launched Yellow Dog Studio, an architecture and design firm with a commitment to continuous learning. While Yellow Dog had a robust body of work, Kim and Heather wanted more. They identified a joint desire to work differently in today’s world of constant evolution, and decided to chase after this idea. The result is Scout Workshop — a values-driven co-working space for creatives looking to explore new ideas, be inspired and connected, and do great work.

Their journey to create a community as well as a physical space has simultaneously been full of excitement and ambiguity. And the latest process of opening an adjacent restaurant and fitness facility adds to the energy around this idea. Today, Scout Workshop is a community of 25 creative misfits in a range of professions, with plans to double in the coming months. We spoke to Heather and Kim about the purpose behind co-working, what inspires them and where they’ll be in five years:

How did the concept of Scout Workshop come about?Kim Batcheller and Heather Rose-Dunning of Scout Workshop

We wanted to figure out how to remain a small, agile design firm while connecting to a broader community of other creative folks forging their own paths. When we couldn’t find it, we decided to create it.

How do the co-workers benefit from working alongside others in a different profession?

We’re all creatives of some sort or another who don’t fit nicely into boxes. We’re explorers and misfits, and all share the belief that we can do better by helping one another, by engaging, and by “bringing it” every day.

What has been difficult about your journey creating Scout Workshop?

Our biggest difficulty was figuring out the financial implications associated with purchasing and renovating this crazy building. We thought of ourselves as designers — and dreamers — but we’ve realized we’re also developers.

What inspires you?

What doesn’t?

Where do you see yourself in five years?

We have no idea. We only know it will be a different place than where we are today.

What is your superpower?

One of us is a misfit magnet; the other possesses a secret sparkle power. You can guess which is which.

What are you searching for?

Joy and satisfaction (but Heather is usually searching for her glasses and keys, too).

What are you reading?

One of us (depending on her mood) is reading Becoming Wise by Krista Tippet, Book of Longing by Leonard Cohen, and The Moviegoer by Walker Percy;  she’s also been listening to Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind in the car. The other prefers a damn good romance novel.

When Heather and Kim identified that what they desired didn’t exist, they went ahead and created it themselves. This is the kind of thinking and acting required when times are changing as constantly and quickly as they are today. Visit Scout Workshop’s website to learn more about this vibrant community.

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Kim and Heather are sharing the ups and downs of their journey launching Scout Workshop at the Studio/E #ideaSLAM on Thursday, August 16. Come hear their story, share your wisdom and meet these clever women who are creating a beautiful community.

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